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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nate vs. Morning Joe: A 'Grand' Bet

SUNDAY update:  Margaret Sullivan with lengthy blog post recording the many, many critiques of her original post, including a ringing and thoughtful response from the paper's D.C. bureau chief.  She also notes that she never questioned his partisanship just the idea of making a wager.


You may have heard about Joe Scarborough pounding Nate Silver of the NYT for continuing to claim that the odds are very much in President Obama's favor, as of now, for next Tuesday.  Joe calls the race a pure toss-up based, I guess, on divided national polls.  Nate has never argued that these polls are wrong--only that, for months, Obama has led in most swing states and would surely win the electoral vote unless something happens.  That something has not (not even the first debate).

So Nate, tired of the slamming, made Joe a bet today:  $1000 going to Red Cross if Obama loses (and if Joe matches it, backing Romney).   No word from Joe yet, but:  the NYT's public editor, Margaret Sullivan, just weighed in, finding some fault with Nate going this far: "But whatever the motivation behind it, the wager offer is a bad idea – giving ammunition to the critics who want to paint Mr. Silver as a partisan who is trying to sway the outcome.

"It’s also inappropriate for a Times journalist, which is how Mr. Silver is seen by the public even though he’s not a regular staff member."

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